Today, October 21st is International Great ShakeOut day, to practice Earthquake safety and drills across the world! For more on how you can register yourself or your business, click here.
Earthquakes can strike at any time of day, anywhere so it is important to be prepared regardless of where you live! Below is the ShakeOut Drill you can play to practice for an earthquake.
During an earthquake, you need to “DROP, COVER and HOLD ON”. First: DROP. Get to your hands and knees to avoid being knocked over during the shaking. This also allows you to crawl to cover, our next step.
Next COVER. You want to protect your neck and head from potential falling debris with your hands. You’ll also want to find a sturdy table or desk to get underneath to cover your entire body from potential hazards.
If you aren’t able to get underneath a piece of furniture, get to an interior wall, away from windows and keep your knees bent to protect your body.
Finally, HOLD ON. You’ll want to maintain a grip on your structure (desk or table) to keep it in place over you in case it shifts. Wait until the shaking has stopped to leave your safe spot.
Tsunamis can sometimes follow earthquakes. If you live near the coast, leave your safe spot and head to higher ground when the shaking stops. Check in with USGS and NWS Tsunami Alert (@NWS_NTWC on Twitter) to check for alerts in your area.
Earthquakes can be preceded by “foreshocks” or smaller rumbles ahead of the main event. Commonly, we see “aftershocks” which are more earthquakes around the fault and can cause additional damage.
It is important to remember that sometimes what you believe to be the “earthquake” could actually be the “foreshock” and there are stronger earthquakes to come. Don’t let your guard down either following an earthquake. Additional damage is possible with aftershocks to follow days and potentially weeks later.
It is not a matter of if, but when an earthquake will happen. Are you prepared for the next event?
Shakeout day is a partnership between FEMA, USGS and others to help prepare you for a potential earthquake. For more on Great ShakOut Day, head to the official website.